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Posts from the ‘Made in the USA’ Category

Delta Sky on Japanese Style and American Heritage

If you’ve flown Delta recently, you probably saw this fascinating feature about the Japanese respect for American Heritage brands, “Channeling Style.”

Enjoy it. We did!

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Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® and Easy-Care Blankets: It’s Easy Being Green

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From the sheep to the shelf, Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® passes strict standards of sustainability and stewardship. That sounds admirable, doesn’t it? But those lofty words would mean nothing at all if Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® products weren’t soft, richly colored and delightful to touch.

There are many, many products out there claiming to be green. Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® has been Cradle to Cradle Certified© by MBDC, a respected product and process design firm dedicated to promoting sustainable production. If you’re curious, you can find out more here.  The best way to explain it? If you were to take a Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® blanket and bury it (but please don’t!), it would leave the earth better, not worse, for the addition.

Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® is an innovation in the Umatilla wool we’ve woven for over a century that uses nontoxic biodegradable dyes. Pendleton is known for the depth and intensity of our colors. Vegetable dyes are not as stable as chemical dyes, and the formula took some tinkering, especially the red spectrum. But with a great deal of trial and a reasonable amount of error, we produced Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® that we could guarantee for quality.

So maybe you want to wrap yourself up in environmental responsibility this year, or maybe you just want something beautiful, wooly and Pendleton. In either case, we have plenty to show you.

Our washable bed blankets are offered in ten plaids, eight of which are shown below.

Eight Plaids

You can see all of them here. Love those blanket-stitched edges. These are washable, and get softer with each trip through the spin cycle.

The solid blankets (18 colors) and matching shams coordinate back to the bed blanket plaids so they can be used together, or used alone for a clean, contemporary look. Here are eight of the shades:

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Wool is a perfect choice for top-of-bed. There is a subtlety to the texture, nothing shiny or artificial about it, and the color will remain true forever. You can add accent interest with pillows  or…

…maybe the fringed Eco-Wise Wool Lambswool Throw.

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This is actually a lambswool/merino blend, and if you know your wools, you’ll appreciate what merino does for the hand. It is soft.  The plaids coordinate back to both the plaid and solid bed blankets, or stand on their own in any room of your home.

There are accent pillows, fabric by-the-yard, window panels and more available in Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool®. Give us a visit  and see all our colorful ways to be green.

Kagavi’s Vintage Football Blanket, made by Pendleton

We do so many custom blankets over the course of any given year, but the blanket we’ve done for Kagavi has a particularly interesting backstory. The concept and design are woven together from college football lore and the personal history of Kagavi’s founder, Joshua Kagavi.

Using the earliest college football jerseys as inspirations, Joshua designed a blanket that celebrates the achievements of Jack Trice, “…a tall broad man with a soft smile who became Iowa State University’s first black athlete in 1922.” This is a fascinating tale, and you should read it here, in Josh’s words.

And then, there’s the blanket:


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Beautiful, yes? Napped for loft and warmth, blanket-stitched edges and Pendleton craftsmanship in a limited edition. For more information, you can go here. And go read the story.

The Heritage Collection; centuries of beautiful blankets.

With our Heritage Collection, Pendleton has brought many of our classic patterns back to life in our USA mills. Using designs from our archives as old as 1896, we’ve painstakingly rewoven blankets from the heyday of the Native Trade blanket. These blankets display a dizzying richness of color and geometry.

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Canyon Diablo:

This is the newest addition to the Heritage Collection. Fifty thousand years ago the Canyon Diablo meteorite made its mark on the Arizona landscape. Millennium later, pre-historic Native Americans discovered meteor fragments along the canyon rim. Many Southwest cultures since have considered these fragments to be gifts from the gods endowed with other worldly energy. Today the crater made by the meteorite sits on the Navajo Indian Reservation near Flagstaff. This is an Overall pattern blanket.

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Gatekeeper:

The Gatekeeper is an original Pendleton design from 1935. An eight-point star is the central figure. This common design element among the Sioux (Lakota, Dakota and Nakoda) often represents the morning star, gatekeeper of the day, shows the way to the light and knowledge. This blanket is a beautiful example of a Centerpoint pattern – one that contains a central design element that falls within a band through the center of the blanket.

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Evening Star:

The Evening Star design features a traditional star symbol emblazoned on the colors of the sunset. The outlined Venus symbols–representing both the morning and evening star–that inspired this blanket have been found on rock art throughout North and South America. Stories of the Evening Star (the planet Venus) are found in a number of Native American myths. This is a Nine Element blanket.

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Silver Bark:

The original Silver Bark blanket dates from the 1920s and was rediscovered in a private collection. The design features stylized arrow, star, diamond and waterbug motifs in colors inspired by the white and grey bark of Aspen trees against a blue sky. The original blanket was bound in satin, like a bed blanket. Our re-creation has a wool binding (twin sizes) or a suede trim (full, queen and king sizes). . It’s a stunning example of an Overall pattern.

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Turtle:

This has been a favorite in the Heritage Collection for almost a decade. The Turtle Blanket is a re-coloration of an early 1900s Pendleton design, and is one of the longest offerings in the heritage Collection. It pays tribute to the Iroquois Confederacy, one of the oldest participatory democracies on earth, consisting of the Oneida, Seneca, Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga (and later the Tuscarora) Nations. The Turtle design was inspired by Iroquois, primarily Mohawk, creation legend. This blanket is another example of Centerpoint design in which three major design elements fall in a row down the center of the blanket.

The Heritage Collection blankets are beautiful, but they don’t stay in the line forever. All are available at www.pendleton-usa.com.

Pendleton opening in Milwaukee WI’s Historic Third Ward

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We’re pleased to announce the opening of our newest store in Milwaukee, Winsconsin’s historic Third Ward.

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We will throw open the doors (or roll them up, this is a firehouse after all) on Labor Day weekend to welcome visitors into a flagship store that celebrates Pendleton’s history with special fixtures, visuals and merchandise. You’re going to love our mix of women’s casual, men’s heritage, blankets and special brands.

Grand opening details are below. We’ll celebrate our opening with a weaving demonstration by fiber artist Susan Buss. Susan is a fiber artist who has been featured on Martha Stewart. She’s been chronicling her prep for the demo, and will bring the process of weaving wool to life for you when you stop by. We have gifts, we have special offers, and we have our special lines, The Portland Collection and Thomas Kay.

Do we sound excited? We are excited. We can’t wait to invite you in. And what better doors to open than those of the Ward’s firehouse?

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The firehouse in which we’re located was restored to its former glory after the Third Ward fire.  The bronze statue out front captures a firefighter and his faithful companion waiting for the next bell. This is just one of the historic buildings in a fascinating American neighborhood that actually began as an urban swamp drained in the early 1900s by the Irish immigrant community.  They built homes, wharves, warehouses, rendering plants,  shipping house and more. The railroad came through in 1856, helping to form a trade route from Lake Michigan to the West.

The Ward was thriving in 1852 when a fire started in the Water Street Union Oil & Paint Company.  Fanned by 50 mph winds, the neighborhood ignited. Help came from as far away as Chicago and Oshkosh, but 440 buildings burned and 1900 people (mostly Irish families) were left homeless. This drastic fire accounts for the cohesive look of the Third Ward. Milwaukee’s leading architects came together to redesign the commercial buildings. Many stonemasons and bricklayers were needed during the 35 years of reconstruction. Italian immigrants skilled in these trades settled the neighborhood and by 1915, the neighborhood had transformed into a predominantly (and proudly) Italian community.

The Historic Third Ward was built on rail and water trade, and its fortunes rose and fell with those transport methods. The birth of the American freeway system and growth of the trucking industry led to the Ward’s decline.

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By the 1970s, the neighborhood was neglected and embattled, with an unclear future. Milwaukee rallied around this historic district, and began the long road to reclamation. In the 1990s, the Third Ward stepped up the renewal plan with streetscapes, parking structures and a riverwalk. Today, the neighborhood is a marriage of historic buildings and modern planning.

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With its public market, lofts, galleries, theaters and restaurants, the neighborhood’s renaissance is ongoing. Pendleton is proud to be part of it.

The grand opening starts 8/30/13. Come see for these special events:

- Discover The Portland Collection for Fall 2013

- Introducing The Thomas Kay Collection, celebrating our 150 years of weaving craftsmanship and English heritage

- See the new 2013 Pendleton Home Collection

- FREE Thomas Kay Muffler with purchase of Thomas Kay product

- Enter to win gift cards and Pendleton apparel and home goods

Route 66 on Route 66

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We got word of some happy Pendleton fans this last week when we received this photo of our Route 66 blanket on the front seat of a 1953 Hudson Hornet. Thanks to Anna and Dean for letting us share it, and from their friend Carolyn for letting us know about it. If you missed our post about this blanket and the route that inspired it, just click here.

Pendleton Salutes Route 66

Pendleton commemorates America’s first completely paved highway with our Route 66 blanket.

Route 66 blanket by Pendleton

Route 66′s 2448 miles of two-lane highway fired the American imagination for sixty years.  John Steinbeck referred to it as “the Mother Road,” the path out of the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. It was the route of countless family road trips after the automobile took hold of American society in the 1950s. In 1953, it earned another unofficial name, “the Will Rogers Highway.”  Thanks to countless references in books, music and film, Route 66 became a genuine American icon, even inspiring its own TV series on CBS.

Route 66 was decommissioned in 1985, a casualty of the nation’s improved freeway system. On our blanket, the highway’s path still rolls across America with classic roadsters, retro road signs, rest stops, motels and diners. These quaint roadside attractions of Route 66 helped earn it the nickname, “America’s Main Street.”

You can read more about Route 66 in this excellent piece by TIME magazine.

Thomas Kay Gear, Made in the USA

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As part of this year’s Thomas Kay Collection, we are offering select gear that echoes our founder’s craftsman ideals. The gear in the Thomas Kay Collection has been carefully chosen to reflect American standards of craftsmanship and integrity.

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For nearly eight decades, Zippo® has been manufacturing lighters in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Their patented windproof lighter is an American icon in peace and war. For the Thomas Kay Collection, we offer this 1941 Replica™  in brushed chrome with a vintage Pendleton logo engraved on the side: “Where quality decides, we always win. Pendleton Woolen Mills.”

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We didn’t go far to find the next product; the Thomas Kay Leatherman® tool is made by the Oregon company that has been manufacturing this indispensible tool since 1983. A stainless steel Leatherman® is 18 handy tools in one; knives, pliers, scissors, screwdriver, corkscrew and more. Our version is engraved with our vintage tilted logo, and presented in a Pendleton jacquard wool pouch.

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The Thomas Kay Camp Stool is also made in Oregon by the hands-on craftspeople at Wood and Faulk. This ingenious design combines hardwood, Pendleton wool and rugged leather. It’s is comfortable, collapsible and easy to carry, thanks to the detachable strap. You can see the manufacture and some really beautiful shots over at their blog.

We’re proud of this group of American-made products, and of the heritage that inspired them. Remember, “Where Quality Decides, We Always Win.”

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The Babbitt Wagon

If you know anything about Portland’s Rose Festival, you know that Portlanders love our Grand Floral Parade. We love it enough that year after year, we stand (and sit and camp overnight, but that is a different story) on our city’s curbs to watch it, no matter the weather. Covered in slickers and trash bags, umbrellas and newspapers over our heads, we watch the well-watered floats go by. But not this year! We had gorgeous (and long) days throughout the festival, especially the day of the big parade.

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Which reminded everyone around here of our last entry in Grand Floral Parade. Yes, that was our entry, decorated by Pendleton volunteers.

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We were delighted that it won a blue ribbon, but we shouldn’t have been surprised. It isn’t just any wagon; it’s a Babbitt Brothers wagon.

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This is one of the original wagons used by the Babbitt brothers, five shopkeepers who came west in 1886 to make their mark. They founded the C O Bar cattle ranch, as well as opening a mercantile in Flagstaff. In time, their success with commerce outpaced their success with cattle. Over the next 100 years, the Babbitts owned and operated over twenty trading posts, doing business with the Navajo, Hopi and Apache tribes.

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Babbitt’s is still active and thriving (and working with Pendleton). Thanks to the generosity of the Babbitt family, this historic wagon was used quite a bit when we celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the opening of Pendleton Woolen Mill in Pendleton. It made a visit to the Pendleton Round-Up.

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And the blue-ribbon-winning wagon (plain, of course, it hasn’t been bedecked in quite a while) is currently residing in the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store. Its rather grand history makes a nice backdrop for displays of our blankets.

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We will be transporting it back to the Babbitts eventually, but until we do, please feel free to stop by and see it. This wagons has made so many trips, it is truly part of the history of the West.

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A Blanket that makes a Difference on Memorial Day

At Pendleton, we are thankful when one of our blankets can help make a difference. This is the case with our Grateful Nation blanket.

The Grateful Nation blanket  honors the sacrifice of brave men and women who have defended freedom throughout the history of the United States of America. Each authentically colored stripe represents a service ribbon awarded to veterans of historical conflicts in which our country has engaged:

  • World War II Asiatic Pacific Campaign
  • World War II Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
  • Korean Service
  • US Vietnam Service
  • Southwest Asia Service (Gulf War)
  • War on Terrorism

A portion of every blanket’s sale goes to support the Fisher House Foundation and its mission to support the families of veterans. As their website states:

Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers nationwide and in Europe.   Fisher Houses are beautiful homes, donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs.  These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time – during the hospitalization for a combat injury, illness or disease… Since 1990, the foundation has saved military, veterans and their families an estimated $200 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

On Memorial Day and every day, Pendleton is proud to honor the men and women of our Armed Services.

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